Two Weeks on Salt Water

I’m just back from our annual two-week vacation on the Rhode Island shore in South County. We rent a cottage at the tip of Great Island in Point Judith Pond.°23’54.6%22N+71°29’51.7%22W/@41.398491,-71.499889,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.398487!4d-71.497695

This is pretty much the only time that I paddle in salt water, and there are so many great places to paddle in the area. I always spend a couple of days paddling around Point Judith Pond and the Harbor of Refuge. The weather wasn’t the best with early morning wind and fog, so it was a little tougher to get out into open water. I did get over to Newport to paddle around the rocks at Kings Beach (until the fog rolled in cutting my trip short) and out to Rose Island. I didn’t get to Dutch Island or Fort Wetherill in Jamestown this year, which is a bummer. I’ll have to get those next year.

I did paddle 12 out of 14 days - not bad. All the trip reports are here:

How cold is the water up there? So much water, so little time…

Nice reports. I enjoyed the blog.

Our club video night is coming up, so I put together a slideshow of vacation paddling pictures - mostly Point Judith, Jamestown and Newport in RI. Lots of foggy, misty morning paddles.

Scenes from a South County Vacation from Erik Eckilson on Vimeo.

Beautiful and relaxing. Lots of rocks up that way.

Cormorants and their white rocks are everywhere!

@Overstreet said:
Cormorants and their white rocks are everywhere!

There are beautiful beaches in RI, but a lot of the shoreline is rocky. Being alone and in a canoe, I tend not to do big water crossings. If I can paddle out beyond the break zone and get in behind the rocks, I’m good with that. I guess I tend to paddle where the cormorants like to hang out.

I’ve seen them in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. Now RI so they must be all up the east coast.

Lots of them up here.

@Overstreet said:
I’ve seen them in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. Now RI so they must be all up the east coast.

They are permanent down South. Otherwise migratory… They are found in many areas of Canada

There are large rookeries of cormorants and anhinga in the Harris Chain of lakes in winter. (Central Fla, Leesburg)

They feed by swimming and catching fish and crabs(small). Thus the have to leave the “Frozen” North. Scat is real runny with solid scell and bone of small critters. Washes easy enough. Stinks a lot…

He came in low above the wave,
alit to the stern rail.
Snakey neck flexed with my approach,
folded feathers twitched their long tail.

That daggered beak with turn-down end
swung a left to right profile.
So air of glance was arrogance,
in eye above wry smile.

My one more step brought his disdain,
squawk launched regurgitant.
I shouted curses to fish gut shame,
flapped away our co-more-rant.

Never, ever paddle underneath a tree limb with a cormorant sitting on it.

@pblanc said:
Never, ever paddle underneath a tree limb with a cormorant sitting on it.

Oh, c’mon now. How would you know?

Never seen a cormorant in a tree, but I have seen some good size herons - wouldn’t want to get dumbed on by one of those either.

There are thousands of cormorant on Long Island. Looks like they are becoming a problem.

Today I saw anhinga perched on wood duck boxes. I think it was just a nice lace to sit. I thing they only nest in trees during “nesting” season. Other times they just hang out near the fish. Nesting in large groups gives ’ em protection from ospreys and Ravens.

Most people here consider cormorants an invasive species. They kill the trees in which they roost. It’s just another part of the changes that are constantly occurring around us.

I’ve never seen a cormorant in a tree around here. On occasion you will see them in a fresh water lake or river, but mostly they are down by the ocean hanging out on rocks.

They often tell you where the bait fish are.